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Schematic carryover, familiarity with Matthew Stafford biggest Rams selling points for Jonah Jackson

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – One of the biggest draws to joining the Rams for offensive lineman Jonah Jackson was a quarterback he was familiar with, both near and from afar.

"In Detroit, we called him 'The Wizard,'" Jackson said during his introductory press conference Thursday, referring to Matthew Stafford. "He could figure it all out, and he can make anything happen. I"m excited to be able to protect him, and let him make us look good and make plays happen."

Stafford and Jackson overlapped during Jackson's rookie year in Detroit in 2020. Now, Jackson will be tasked with doing so again, and for the forseeable future, after officially signing his 3-year deal with Los Angeles on Thursday.

Of course, it's not just the familiarity with the Rams' starting quarterback that made L.A. appealing.

Stafford was a selling point, but so too were all of the pieces around him, and "the ability to possibly make it all the way."

"And I definitely wanted to be a part of something like that," Jackson said.

Schematically, core concepts of the Rams' run game were similar to those executed by the Lions' during Jackson's time in Detroit, so the carryover made it a natural fit.

"The gap scheme, and 'duo' in general, is probably our bread and butter in Detroit, and glad it's the bread and butter over here," Jackson said. "So this is not going to be too hard of a transition, and things like that are right up my alley."

When the negotiating period opened Monday, Jackson said he and his wife were sitting at home, and thought the mayhem of free agency was going to be "immediate." Instead, they "kind of sat there for like 45 minutes."

Then his agent called.

"He was like, 'What do you think of Los Angeles?' and I was like, 'Doesn't sound too shabby,'" Jackson said. "We talked about it. It sounded like the right move – good weather, good place to be, good winning culture, great staff. Everything overall was just a plus, so we couldn't deny that."

Jackson acknowledged he had other opportunities to weigh in free agency, but the familiarity – as well as the offer – the Rams presented made it too good to pass up.

"Once I heard the Rams were willing to do what they did and be able to go somewhere and potentially win it all, there was no denying it," he said. "There were some teams, maybe we could have done some more, but I wanted the perfect balance of being able to set my family up for life and be able to win football games."

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